Author Topic: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues  (Read 15760 times)

WisdomBeing

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The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« on: December 05, 2012, 12:41:50 AM »
I just heard that a friend gave away one of her Buddha statues to somebody. I don't know her real motivation why she gave the statue away. I do think that she gave it away because she stopped going to the centre she was affiliated to. What I wanted to know was that if someone’s motivation to give a statue away to someone else was because she wasn’t happy being a Buddhist, does she still get merits? This is based on the thought that if one gives Buddha images away and the recipient of the image makes prayers to the image, the giver/sponsor of the image receives merits.

I do believe that this happens when the donor/sponsor of the image wishes to give the recipient the opportunity to do dharma practice. However, if the motivation to give is to get rid of the statue, does the giver still receive merits? Or perhaps in a rather twisted way, the person wants to get rid of the statue as well as thinks that the statue would benefit the recipient more than herself since she was estranged from the centre.

Just one of those things that flit through my head in the middle of the night.
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Ensapa

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 06:54:52 AM »
One of my friends left the Dharma center that we went to, and she gave me her statues because she was very disappointed with the way the center was run, and she gave the statues to me because she had 'given' up on her Dharma practice and she has not seek another center since because she was just so sick of going to Buddhist centers. I know many other people who give their personal statues away because they converted to another religion or have given up on their own Dharma center, so it is not necessarily about merits, but rather that they do not want to see that statue again as it reminds them of their failure to thrive in those centers.

ratanasutra

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 07:26:26 AM »
I think the donor still collect some merit even tho her motivation is impure. I feel that at least she not just throw statue away and choose to give to someone who she think can be benefit for their practice.

I think it same as people sponsor the temple because they want fame, they don't have pure motivation but their sponsorship benefit lot of people so there is some merit from that.


 

Q

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 07:40:45 AM »
Just like how the sun shines on all beings irregardlessly... so does the Buddha's blessings to all those who help another person in their spiritual growth.

In this case, I would say although her motivation is not set right... but who are we to judge a person? As long as we are not enlightened, anything we do is not from pure motivation. Therefore, what is the difference between us and her? Neither one of us have pure motivation, so why do we get good merits and she don't? She will receive merits from this action... there are many other ways to 'get rid' of statues... the fact that she decides to give it to someone who practices Dharma rather than throwing it into the dumpster is already indicative that even if she does not believe anymore, she still respects the Buddhas.

Of course she could have generated greater merits if she have a better motivation behind it... but definitely she collected good merits. After all, how can one not get any good merits by giving away Buddha images?

Ensapa

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 07:57:33 AM »
To me, it depends on motivation. If the motivation to give the statue away is to get rid of it, how can any merit be derived from that?! however if its being given away with the motivation that the statue can bless the person and their family, or give them something spiritual in their lives, then of course we will receive merits when that person prays to that statue. Whether or not we receive merits would obviously, depend on our motivation to do a certain action.

diablo1974

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 09:09:38 AM »
i reckon is still the motivation...firstly, the statue represent the body of the Buddhas and also one of the triple gems. Most importantly, we propitiates Him in our practice and make prostrations to him in wanting to eventually attained the same qualities as he has. If the motivation to give away is because we do not like it ; does it mean we do not want enlightenment anymore ? if so, we created the causes in not to become enlighten in the future. Making prostrations and offerings to our Guru and the triple gems with the correct motivation create immense merits. Not only physically making offerings but whenever we think of the triple gems at any moment or period of the day, it too will create imprints in our mind to be like them and plant seeds in our mind for enlightenment.

Ensapa

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 06:33:42 AM »
i reckon is still the motivation...firstly, the statue represent the body of the Buddhas and also one of the triple gems. Most importantly, we propitiates Him in our practice and make prostrations to him in wanting to eventually attained the same qualities as he has. If the motivation to give away is because we do not like it ; does it mean we do not want enlightenment anymore ? if so, we created the causes in not to become enlighten in the future. Making prostrations and offerings to our Guru and the triple gems with the correct motivation create immense merits. Not only physically making offerings but whenever we think of the triple gems at any moment or period of the day, it too will create imprints in our mind to be like them and plant seeds in our mind for enlightenment.

If we give away our personal statues because we dont want to be a Buddhist anymore, well, I think that is self explanatory right? I mean, sometimes things do happen and people do change their religion or they give up on their spiritual path and they decide that they would not want to be Buddhist anymore, then we basically will create the cause to never be Buddhist again and it would be a demeritorious act as compared to giving away a statue because we want that person to benefit.

Q

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 12:19:47 PM »
To me, it depends on motivation. If the motivation to give the statue away is to get rid of it, how can any merit be derived from that?! however if its being given away with the motivation that the statue can bless the person and their family, or give them something spiritual in their lives, then of course we will receive merits when that person prays to that statue. Whether or not we receive merits would obviously, depend on our motivation to do a certain action.

How I view this situation is based on her choice of who to give. The fact that she gave the statues to someone who practices Buddhism is indicative that she knows this person will be better off having these statues to practice rather than she just keep it in her house (assuming she changed religions) or worst, throwing it away. Through this low motivation of giving away a statue she 'does not want or need anymore' to someone who needs or appreciates it, will generate some form of merit.

Although I do not favor what she did, however, there really is no reason to say she have bad motivation that do not bring merits through offering a Buddha statue. None of us have pure mind or intent.... all of us is tainted, some more some less. Even for people like us, who say we practice Buddhism, and yet many times we act funny towards our Guru, a living Buddha... coming and going as we please... is that not throwing away a 'Buddha statue' too through such actions?

dondrup

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 06:52:02 PM »
Quote
What I wanted to know was that if someone’s motivation to give a statue away to someone else was because she wasn’t happy being a Buddhist, does she still get merits?

Quote
… if the motivation to give is to get rid of the statue, does the giver still receive merits?

In both the above scenarios, she will not gain merits because her motivation of giving away the statue was not to benefit others.

Quote
Or perhaps in a rather twisted way, the person wants to get rid of the statue as well as thinks that the statue would benefit the recipient more than herself since she was estranged from the centre.
 

Yes.  She will receive merits because she has the motivation of wanting to benefit the recipient despite her intention to get rid of the statue.

As long as the recipient of the Buddha statue has faith and sees the Buddha statue as Buddha, he will receive the blessing from the Buddha and hence, the Buddha statue becomes the field for accumulating merits.  Even if the said recipient has no faith and doesn’t see the Buddha statue as Buddha, he would have already printed a seed of enlightenment in his mind after he had seen the Buddha statue.

Jessie Fong

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 08:39:57 AM »
If you are no longer interested to remain a Buddhist and want to give away your statues so that these will be of benefit to others, you will continue to collect merits because your motivation was to benefit others.

However, if you want to give away just because you just want to be rid of them, then the motivation was not to benefit, so there can be no merits to collect.

pgdharma

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 01:59:22 PM »
My opinion is that if we do not wish to be a Buddhist anymore and wants to give away the statues as we need to get rid of them, it is better to give to someone who appreciates and have faith in Buddha. Even though the motivation is to get rid of them, it will still generate some merits as it shows that we still have some respect  by giving them away instead of destroying or throwing them away. The motivation may not be correct, but because of the recipient's faith in the Buddha, we will be able to receive some merits when the recipient prays to the statues.

Tenzin K

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 02:25:10 AM »
It is very much like what has been said, its all back to the motivation  that we set when we want to offer the Buddha statue to others. If the motivation is just for our Samaric benefits the givers will not collect merit but if the  motivation is for the benefits of others eventhohough if we want time get rid of it by the person would still have the perception of the Buddha images would benefits others, definitely it collect  merits. Offering Buddha images will plant an imprint or seed for the person to meet the dharma in future. Generally its a good practices and meritorious for one to do so but what important is to understand the reason of the act in order for one fully aware their action.

Tammy

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2012, 05:26:56 AM »
I agree with you WisdomBeing, i would not think the merits collection process depends on whether the donor is  still practicing in a particular centre or not, rather the motivation behind the gifting.

If the donor had left a centre, giving away the related holy items to someone whom he thinks would benefit from it, is a very good way of treating the statues. The statue is just a statue if we do not have perceived value on it. If we truly respect the holy beings that the statues represent, we will treat the statues properly and respect.
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sonamdhargey

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2012, 09:55:11 AM »
I think it is the motivtion again. When a person give away the Buddha statue because they want the receiver to benefit then the merits there. If the giver gives away the Buddha statue becuase they want to get rid of it and do not want to practice anymore, well at least they didn't just dump it and gave it away to someone who can benefit from it. I supposed the giving part is important and i think the merits are there.

Rihanna

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Re: The Motivation of Giving Away Statues
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2012, 03:39:42 PM »
I think it is the motivation. When a person gives away statues, he will gain merits through this act. But if he gave it away just because he wanted to get rid of it, then obviously the giver will only rip a little benefit from this because of the motivation.

Rather than throwing it away, I the giver can save himself from bad karma of throwing away statues. He will get some merits at least because of the act of giving. Furthermore, the receiver will get the benefit when he sees the statues and plants some Dharma seeds in him. Who knows, maybe later the receiver will start his spiritual practice because of the gift.